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Wednesday, 19 November 1986
Page: 2545


Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(10.07) —A Federal Court case is listed, I think, for tomorrow, dealing with the rights of the Federal Government in this area. I do not want to traverse that and get into trouble for interfering in a Federal Court case. It is my understanding that the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) has offered to facilitate the capacity of the Northern Territory Government to give a written submission concerning the World Heritage listing of this area. I am sorry to inform Senator Kilgariff that this is a national matter. The Government will consider the views of the Northern Territory Government, and will facilitate the Northern Territory Government in giving its views in written form. But if the Northern Territory Government, as it is funded very generously by the Federal Government, wishes to ride roughshod over the Federal Government in this area, I am afraid that we cannot be considered to be in a position to give it the facilities to do as it pleases in this area. This is a national issue, as was the Franklin issue, as was demonstrated by the High Court of Australia decision in the Franklin issue. I do not want to say much more than that as the matter is before the Federal Court of Australia and I do not want to be in the position of being accused of attempting to influence the Federal Court-not that I think that I could.